Acclaimed film director and military veteran Oliver Stone is set to speak on campus Thursday night alongside Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute. And while the subject of the talk is not entirely clear, it can be assumed that Stone and Kuznick will deliver an enlightening lecture. Having directed multiple films on the Vietnam War and controversial political and societal issues in America, Stone’s commentary Thursday will be far from casual banter. The two will certainly delve into heavy discussion likely concerning nuclear issues, a trademark topic for both eminent figures.
Since the early stages of his cinematic career, Stone has directed and produced more than 20 feature films. The screenwriter entered the arena when his 1986 film “Platoon” earned him the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film was based off of the director’s personal accounts as a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam War; and this riveting portrayal was also enough to earn him the Academy Award for Best Director. The honor was well-deserved, as Stone has had the pleasure of directing many of Hollywood’s most accomplished stars. Just a few years after launching his successful “Platoon,” Tom Cruise starred in his film “Born on the Fourth of July,” which serves as a continuation of the Vietnam War theme present in “Platoon.” A few of Stone’s later films, “JFK” and “Nixon,” are just as historically significant, as both films highlight the lives of two of the nation’s most distinguished presidents.
Kuznick is the director of the Nuclear Studies Institute and also a history professor at American University in Washington, D.C. Kuznick began collaborating with Stone on his “Untold History of the United States” documentary series when Stone started the project back in 2008. Kuznick is currently working on a book about the Vietnam War, making his association with Stone even more logical.
Stone’s cinematic expertise has spanned the last two decades and the stream of renowned films continues. One of his most recent films, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” starring Michael Douglas and Shia LeBeouf, was nominated for a Golden Globe. It serves as a sequel to Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street,” a film that depicts corporate greed and features a ruthless Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. Evidently, Stone is one for shifting from one heated topic to the next, never failing to intrigue audiences both on and offscreen. His presence on campus Thursday night with Kuznick is sure to be impressive.